Don’t panic, the revolution hasn’t started, it’s just an Indian wedding
So I’m sitting in my hotel and I suddenly hear the loudest noise coming down the road outside. I pop out to investigate and find that it’s thanks to a wedding procession for the groom through the streets of downtown Allahabad.
Quite a site to be seen (and heard), apart from the huge sound system and light show combo pumping out music which I can only describe as ‘hectic’ the procession also contained a horse drawn carriage containing the man of the hour, drummers, flares and human lightstands powered by diesel generators.
They loved the fact I was taking pictures and at one point when I leapt up onto a wall to get an elevated view it seemed that onlookers weren’t sure where to look, either at the procession or the photographer who had a good chance of tumbling backwards off a wall in the darkness.
Here are a few of the characters that made up the troop, quite possibly the hardest looking men I have ever seen sporting drums (just glad it wasn’t knives) and a young lad who’s job for the evening I certainly didn’t envy.
Here’s the man who it was all in aid of, all the best to you Sir.
Knowing that Allahabad was a major pilgrimage site I was surprised upon arriving to find that the city has an incredibly laid back atmosphere. Walking the streets I had at times the impression that I was in Southern Europe rather than India with quiet streets and people sitting eating and drinking al fresco.
It’s been a very pleasant place to spend time in indeed. The food here is also great and the people of Allahabad are renowned for having a sweet tooth so there has been no shortage of cakes and pastries to indulge in while I’ve been here.
This has been especially welcome after my recent illness in Lucknow where my appetite had disappeared for three days. Now it’s back with a vengeance and this town is just the place for it.
While I’ve been here I’ve been staying at a guesthouse which is well out of the ordinary. The hotel is housed in converted stables and the rooms and communal spaces are huge. It’s fairly run down but that all adds to the charm, never seen anything quite like it.
Apparently it was created by a local who upon being refused entry to a British run hotel during the time of the Raj decided he’d beat them at their own game and start his own one.
And what did he call it? ‘The Royal Hotel of course’. Striking back at the Empire….